MBRP Exhaust Systems - An Off-Roader's Best Friend

Sometimes it's essential to take the long and winding path to your destination rather than a short and narrow one. Such was the case for Martin Barkey when he launched his company MBRP, Inc., or Martin Barkey Racing Products. Nowadays, MBRP performance exhaust is a household name to off-roaders, but it didn't start out that way.

Barkey began in an incredibly niche market: snowmobile exhausts. Of course, what's niche to you and me is actually a necessity up in northern Ontario, Canada where Barkey built his business. So while he was working in construction as his main gig, on the side he was fueling his passion and making exhausts for snowmobiles.

As we all know, that's not where the story ends. He started by selling his MBRP exhaust systems at swap meets, but before too long he had become one of the top snowmobile exhaust manufacturers on the market. Then something happened to change everything; Barkey bought a diesel pickup truck. Of course curiosity got the better of him and he started applying everything he had learned making snowmobile exhausts into making a better diesel exhaust.

But he didn't stop there. The next vehicle he took on was the Jeep JK, which not only got a new and improved MBRP exhaust but was also fitted with new accessories and then showcased at the November 2008 SEMA. It was a risk (how many Jeeps do you see featured in diesel exhaust companies?) but it worked. It was at this SEMA that Martin Barkey met some representatives from 4 Wheel Parts, who really appreciated everything he had done and encouraged him to go all the way with it. That spring at the Moab run, Barkey became a full-fledged Jeep enthusiast and his Jeep line took off.

It's been 14+ years since Barkey first started designing and developing snowmobile exhausts as a side project. Now, he has a 12-acre camp completely devoted to manufacturing, warehousing, and administrating his MBRP exhaust systems. Their success has allowed them to work with state-of-the-art equipment to design and test the next generation of MBRP performance exhaust systems.

Barkey has always made testing one of the highest priorities for his products, so much so that each MBRP exhaust goes through a full test assembly process before they are disassembled again and packaged for sale. This way, MBRP knows their customer will be getting a product that is easy to assemble and fits perfectly. This sets them apart from other exhaust companies, many of which don't implement this process and create a much more trying installation process for their customers.

Between a simple installation process and extremely customizable options, MBRP guarantees the customer will get what they want. They have 3 price points and multiple finish choices. In the end, you can choose from 9 different part numbers for each application so you get exactly what you've been looking for.

And more than anything, MBRP is always trying to stay in touch with their customer base. Obviously, Barkey was enough of an enthusiast to want to make MBRP performance exhaust his life. Back when he was first starting, he constantly frequented forums just for his own pleasure. These days, MBRP uses this as a way to keep up with off-roading trends, take notice of what people are asking for, and make themselves available for any customer service needs.

Though he started with the JK, now you can get an MBRP exhaust for every Jeep from Libertys to Cherokees and even early Wranglers. They stay true to the needs of off-road enthusiasts because each MBRP exhaust is designed and built by off-road enthusiasts.

When it comes to JKs, the XP Series MBRP performance exhaust is a fantastic option. It starts with 16-guage steel and a polished T304 stainless steel tip (which is removable for dirt). But if you prefer a different look, you can opt for the aluminized or black finish model. For those of you wanting to do some serious off-roading, you can even get it without the tip at all.

One of the biggest issues MBRP faced with the JK was mounting. Generally, the exhaust is supposed to sit below the muffler but this makes it too low for doing any major off-roading in the JK. The solution: stick the tailpipe between the frame rails and pair it with a slighter, mid-section muffler. And because they avoid fiber packing, you won't have to worry about getting them wet. You'll be ready to go with a couple extra MPGs, an additional 9 horsepower, and 15 lbs/ft of torque so you won't be sacrificing economy for the sake of performance.

Once you've got your MBRP exhaust ready to go, it's time to turn to accessories. Sometimes people think of accessories as add-ons that aren't really necessary, but that's not always the case. For example, the MBRP roof rack for JK 4-doors is something that works day in and day out for your Jeep. Whether you need to transport sporting equipment like kayaks, bikes, and skis, or you need a place to keep your oversized spare tire, or you just want to store the gear for your camping trip, MBRP roof racks are built to handle it. With 2-inch mandrel-bent heavy-walled tubing and an adjustable bar for various mounting systems, they will take on the challenge.

The difference is that, unlike other roof racks, all the weight is distributed down to the Jeep's body rather than leaving it all on the roof, which can only support so much weight. Of course distributing that weight does take a little more work. When you go to install the rack, some drilling will be required. But MBRP still tries to make it as easy as possible with precision-cut gaskets and a leak-free seal. It even gives you the wiring you need if you decide to add on some rack-mounted auxiliary lights. Another option for relocating the oversized spare tire is the MBRP spare tire relocation bracket, which allows you to clear the bumper.

Another must-have from MBRP's collection of Jeep accessories is their Rock Rails with an optional, detachable step that has a non-slip surface. Barkey has done the research and he knows that rock rails are a necessity if you want to guard the underside of your Jeep. Their formed, 3/16-inch plate and full length tube will get the job done and then some, also protecting the sides from scrapes and dents. If you're a pretty light off-roader who tends to stay away from the rougher terrains, then feel free to add on that step; it'll be really useful for diving around town, especially if you have kids. For the rest, keep in mind that an attached step will decrease your ground clearance so it's not the best add-on if you're doing some serious off-roading. If you find yourself transitioning between the two, then the MBRP steps are a great option because they unbolt and re-bolt incredibly easily.

As if all that weren't enough, make sure to check out MBRP front light bars. These are a good choice if you're frustrated with the glare your roof-mounted driving lights have been producing on your hood, since this bar positions the lights about the same level as your OE lamps. Plus, it's built to last with heavy-gauge 3-inch tubing and 10-gauge mounting brackets, which are laser-cut and formed for the Jeep. Wiring is a cinch since the bar is pre-drilled to accommodate internal wiring and auxiliary lights up to 8 inches in diameter.

And that concludes the long and winding journey that took Martin Barkey from construction to snowmobile exhausts to diesels and finally to Jeeps, putting MBRP exhaust systems at the top of the class. Who knows what Barkey plans to take on next, but we can't wait to see it.

Further Reading

MBRP Manufacturer Page - Check out all the different MBRP Exhaust systems available on the market.

Performance Parts - MBRP Exhaust Systems are just one of many performance parts that can amp up the power of your rig.

Performance Exhausts - We have a full line of exhaust systems, including the MBRP Performance Exhaust.